How do Puzzles work?

Puzzles (used to be called tactics) are a great way to improve your rating through practice and pattern recognition. To do puzzles, from the home page, hover over ‘learn’ on the left hand sidebar and click ‘puzzles.’ 

There are three ways you can do puzzles on chess.com. You will see all three options on the screen when you go to puzzles. Click on the icon for whichever type you want to play, and click ‘start!’

Rated


Playing rated puzzles will give you a puzzle or ‘tactics’ rating in much the same way you get a chess rating. If you get a puzzle right, your rating goes up, if you get it wrong, it goes down. 

The amount that your rating changes depends on how fast you complete the puzzle, and also what the rating of the puzzle is compared to your puzzle rating. 

After you complete a puzzle you will be able to see your stats on the right side of the screen. 

The graph shows your progress for the current session (if you close or refresh the tab this will reset.) 

You can also see:

  • The puzzle rating. If it’s lower than yours (your tactics rating, not your chess rating), you wont get as many points, if it’s higher you will get more 
  • Target time to complete the puzzle. This is based on your current puzzle(tactics) rating 
  • Speed bonus. This is based on how close you got to the target time
  • Pass Rate. This is how often chess.com users successfully solve the puzzle
  • Attempts. This is the total number of times the puzzle has been played by all users.  

Rated puzzles are a great way to learn, but be aware that your puzzle rating is not necessarily an accurate reflection of your chess rating! 

Learning

Learning mode will give you the same puzzles as rated mode, except there is no time pressure, and no winning or losing points, just learning! 

The right side of the screen will allow you to choose an area to focus on, and shows you the percentage of problem types you have gotten correct. These numbers are taken from your rated puzzle scores. 

From here you can choose to include all puzzles, or only puzzles you have failed, or you can set a rating range. 

You can also click on any of the themes and do puzzles only from that theme. Click here to read more about different themes and types of tactics!



Rush


Puzzle rush is a fast-paced, exciting way to learn tactics! In puzzle rush you have 5 minutes to solve as many puzzles as you can, but if you get three wrong, the game ends no matter how much time you have left. Getting puzzles right or wrong in puzzle rush mode will not affect your puzzle rating, so don’t worry, and aim for that high score! 

When you complete a puzzle rush, you’ll see your stats, and how that round compared to your past scores. 

On the right side of the screen you’ll also see a list of all the puzzles you went through. You can click on any one of them to open the puzzle in a separate window where you can take a closer look at it, or try to solve it again if you got it wrong. 

Try to beat  your top score, and the scores of your friends! You can see your top score and your position on the leader-board on the right side of the screen when you enter puzzle rush. 

Click on ‘friends’ to see you ranked among your friends list. ‘Personal’ will show a list of your personal best scores. Your best score will also be listed along with your chess and tactics ratings on your profile! 

Practice puzzles every day to improve your score! 

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